Polarization or Authoritarianism? Diagnosing the Threats to our Fragile Democracy

An HUC Connect event.

Date: Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Time: 1:30 pm EST
Location: Online
Speakers: Lilliana Mason, Ph.D., Andrew Marantz, Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D.; Moderator

Event Description

In our second event in the series, we’ll be joined by Professor Lilliana Mason and New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz. Both writers have worked to understand what has changed in our democracy over the last decade, as extremists have utilized the power of social media to amplify their positions and our politics have become increasingly polarized. In her recent work, Dr. Mason has argued that group identifications have changed the way we think and feel about ourselves and our opponents. Even when Democrats and Republicans can agree on policy outcomes, she suggests, they tend to view one other with distrust and to work for party victory over all else. For Andrew Marantz, one of the reasons is that technology companies have profited off the most extreme voices. In his writing, he has charted how silicon valley has unwittingly contributed to both the rise in white nationalism and our polarized politics. In their conversation, Mason and Marantz will invite the community of HUC to consider how we arrived at our current state of political polarization, and what we might do about it.


Lilliana Mason, Ph.D., SNF Agora Institute Associate Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
Andrew Marantz, Staff Writer, The New Yorker
Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., President, HUC-JIR; Moderator